In 1973 Sophie Neville was cast as Titty alongside Virginia McKenna, Ronald Fraser and Suzanna Hamilton in the film Swallows & Amazons. Made before the advent of digital technology, the child stars lived out Arthur Ransome's epic adventure in the great outdoors without ever seeing a script. Encouraged by her mother, Sophie Neville kept a diary about her time filming on location in the lakes and mountains of Cumbria. Bouncy and effervescent, extracts from her childhood diary are interspersed among her memories of the cast and crew as well as photographs, maps and newspaper articles, offering a child's eye view of the making of the film from development to premiere - and the aftermath.
Publisher: James Clarke & Co Ltd
Number of pages: 266
Weight: 512 g
Dimensions: 156 x 234 x 15 mm
"Sophie has reminded me of one of the happiest times I ever spent on a film. The fun that was had, the friendships forged, the challenges overcome, are all delightfully recalled with a freshness and sense of adventure that has made me smile all over again."
Virginia McKenna OBE, 'Mrs Walker' in Swallows & Amazons
"Amazing. It brought so much that I had forgotten flooding back. Thank you! My father will love it, too."
Simon West, 'Captain John' in Swallows & Amazons
"Looking at your pictures, I relive all the thrills, wearing the costumes, the people and the lovely carefree, but caring, atmosphere. Extraordinary, extraordinary how it all comes back."
Suzanna Hamilton, 'Mate Susan' in Swallows & Amazons
"Sophie brings to life all the many memorable characters who worked on the film and in particular the other children, the Director Claude Whatham who developed a great relationship with his young cast and the stars Virginia McKenna and Ronald Fraser. ... The result is compulsive reading as she recalls that cold wet summer, while the camera crew wrapped up warm and she shivered in her skimpy dress as Able Seaman Titty Walker."
Roger Wardale, biographer of Arthur Ransome
"The Making of Swallows and Amazons (1974) will be of interest to anyone who has seen the film, but also to anyone who is a fan of Ransome and his famous book. ... An enjoyable read that adds to the collective knowledge surrounding one of the country's best-loved children's stories."
The Westmorland Gazette, 15 September 2017
"This uplifting memoir tells us how a schoolgirl's life was transformed by unexpectedly starring in a major film adaptation of the world famous classic tale by Arthur Ransome. ... [T]his book's greatest asset is how it communicates a sense of camaraderie between players and crew. In a profession notorious for backstabbing it is refreshing to read how such a community worked with mutual respect for each other on a highly commercial enterprise."
Anne Gaelan, annegaelan16.wordpress.com